While statistics make an obvious case for the need for solitude, our increased interest in finding more peace could also be rooted in ancient wisdom, too. Katie Silcox, the New York Times best-selling author and founder of the Shakti School for Ayurveda, explains the urge for more stillness through the form of ancient Indian medicine in which she specializes. According to Ayurvedic principles, each human being is made up of a combination of three doshas, or archetypes, of which each comprises of two main elements: Kapha, earth and water; Pitta, fire and water; and Vata, water and ether (you can find your main dosha here). She explains this rises in our need to disconnect because humanity has an excess of Vata energy due to almost everything we use to stay virtually connected—the internet, computers, cell phones—as being Vata. The behavioral side effects of excess Vata in an individual include restlessness, anxiety, nervousness, as well as feelings of being ungrounded and an urge to run away.
“The desire to travel, especially to areas one may desire to be more wild, natural, or authentic, is a very reasonable impulse to counterbalance our culture’s lack of true connection,” says Silcox. “While we are hyper-connected through our intellects, our physicality and soul may feel less connected than ever. We can balance this sense of excess Vata by spending time outdoors, cooking our own food, or grounding activities like gardening.”